A truck has plowed into a Berlin Christmas Market.

Truck rams German Christmas market, killing at least 9

Police say a suspect, believed to be the driver, was arrested nearby

A truck rammed into a crowded Christmas market in central Berlin on Monday evening, killing at least nine people as it tore through tables and wooden stands. Many others were injured. Police said a suspect believed to be the driver was arrested nearby and a passenger was dead.

The vehicle crashed into the market outside the capital’s popular Christmas market at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. AP Television footage showed a large Scania truck with its windshield smashed out on the sidewalk alongside the market, with a swarm of ambulances nearby. A large Christmas tree with a gold star on top was toppled over nearby in the street, and tree branches were crushed under the truck’s tires.

Police said they were still investigating whether the crash was deliberate. But it came less than a month after a U.S. State Department calling for caution in markets and other public places, saying extremist groups including Islamic State and al-Qaida were focusing “on the upcoming holiday season and associated events.”

Islamic State and al-Qaida have both called on followers to use trucks in particular to attack public places. On July 14, a truck plowed into a Bastille Day crowd in the southern French city of Nice, killing 86 people. Islamic State claimed responsibility for that attack, which was carried out by a Tunisian living in France.

Mike Fox, a tourist from Birmingham, England, told The Associated Press at the scene in Berlin that the large truck missed him by about three meters as it drove into the market, tearing through tables and wooden stands.

“It was definitely deliberate,” Fox said. Fox said he helped people who appeared to have broken limbs, and that others were trapped under Christmas stands.

Federal prosecutors, who handle terrorism cases, took over the investigation, according to German Justice Minister Heiko Maas, who said in a tweet “we are mourning with the relatives” of the victims. Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere gave no indication in a statement whether authorities believe the crash was an attack.

Dozens of ambulances lined the streets waiting to evacuate people, and heavily armed police patrolled the area. Police on Twitter urged people to stay away from the area, saying they need to keep the streets clear for the rescue vehicles.

Police spokesman Winfried Wenzel told ZDF public television that the suspect believed to be the driver was arrested nearby, but offered no further details.

__

David Rising, Geir Moulson and Frank Jordans in Berlin, and Lori Hinnant in Paris, contributed to this report.

Kirsten Grieshaber, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Development on grounds of former Victoria Truth Centre sent to public hearing

Controversial project moves forward with revisions to previous plans

Police wait on autopsy findings on human foot

Sooke RCMP are waiting for autopsy findings before determing if a human… Continue reading

Victoria rental prices declining, according to national listing website

The median price of a one-bedroom suite dropped almost five per cent in December

VIDEO: That’s a wrap: Be a Santa to a Senior packages ready to go out

Program hands out more than 600 gifts to Greater Victoria seniors

Lost Victoria: Story of the Crystal Palace

Historian Stuart Stark launches book about iconic Oak Bay structure that was lost to flames

VIDEO: That’s a wrap: Be a Santa to a Senior packages ready to go out

Program hands out more than 600 gifts to Greater Victoria seniors

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Accused B.C. drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

Island entering the peak of flu season

Island Health says flu shots the best prevention against the virus

One convicted, two cleared in 2014 deaths of men in B.C.’s Cariboo

Andrew Jongbloets convicted of manslaughter in deaths of Matthew Hennigar, 23 and Kalvin Andy, 22

Firefighter dies, thousands more take on California blaze

This is second death linked to the Thomas fire, northwest of Los Angeles

AHUS patient Shantee Anaquod is home for Christmas

Less than a month after receiving first dose of $750K drug, 23 year old healthy enough to go home

Moose calves rescued in northern B.C. are ‘golden nuggets:’ researcher

Calves discovered near Prince George in late May. Mother had been killed by a car

Most Read